Posts by Joe Wylie

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  • Access: Fighting seclusion with…, in reply to DeepRed,

    And we thought that mental institutions were abolished years ago. They were basically prisons but for the mentally ill.

    As it's turned out that "we" were wrong, why would we have allowed ourselves to be misled? Two possible reasons - either we were buying into the notion that "progress" had relegated most uncomfortable issues safely into the past, or that there was no form of disability so severe that it couldn't be addressed by abolishing all forms of clinical incarceration.

    Describing the work of Hohepa Hawkes Bay upthread, Stephen Keys says "Occasionally someone is too violent to stay and needs a more secure environment for their own, and the safety of other residents and staff." He doesn't say where such people are sent, but I fear that it's somewhere beyond the reaches of Steiner methods.

    Lilith:

    The most appalling thing about this appalling story is that it's been publicised before, and nothing has changed. I don't understand.

    Amen. While it's beyond my competence to "evaluate" Ashley, he's articulate and presumably able to take care of his own basic needs. I know that far more severely disabled people have existed in the past. There seems no reason to assume that they've vanished. If Ashley can languish in spite of having "tireless" advocates, what about those we've so far heard nothing about?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: An interview with Ben Goldacre, in reply to Grant Taylor,

    In my own fields of understanding I have frequently come across people who have 'done their research' but are so far off beam with the self-tutored conclusions they have come to that it is difficult to know where to start in having a constructive conversation with them. Interestingly, I have usually found them to have an attitude of far greater 'faith' in their knowledge than the experts usually have in their own.

    Thanks Grant, a nice description of a very real phenomenon. There's a passing mention in the commentaries to the Chinese I Ching. or Book of Changes, of the "heaviness" of the self-taught (or ponderousness,. depending on the translation), as something to be avoided by seeking open discouse with others.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ali, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One of the tensions in When We Were Kings is the way Ali plays on the adoration of the people in Zaire while Foreman, another black man, becomes the isolated bad guy.

    Ali's demonising of Foreman, backed up by the dubious showmanship of Don King, seems to have been a repeat of the formula that led to his breakthrough victory over Sonny Liston. While When We Were Kings delivered a riveting 90 minutes of fascinating history, it barely touched on the bizarre background story of how the "rumble in the jungle" came about.

    Given the kind of dictator that Mobutu Sese Seko was - even the macho Norman Mailer was moved to pity "the poor women who are associated with this fellow" - and his role as a CIA-backed cold war linchpin, Ali's willingness to allow himself to be used as window dressing for a thoroughly horrible regime seems naive at best. The following year he repeated the favour for the Marcos regime with his narrow victory over Joe Frazier in Manila.

    Looking back it seems remarkable that these events took place in the midst of the cold war, when the first-world third-world divide was a truly fraught and dangerous thing. In December of 1975 Deep Purple, who for whatever reasons were hugely popular in Indonesia, played to one of their largest ever audiences in Jakarta. What began as a kind of triumphal parade with a military escort rapidly soured as the band watched their fans savagely beaten by police during their show.

    After being held virtual prisoners in an extortion heist by their military "hosts" they eventually fled the country, leaving their equipment and a dead crew member behind. Perhaps it's a tribute to the organising skills of US foreign policy - and Don King - that no-one was killed in either of Ali's third world outings.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and…, in reply to Alfie,

    It's interesting to see UBI referred to in that story as a "Marxist dream".

    Thanks Alfie. Hard to tell whether it's sloppy journalism or deliberate spin, but the more clearly attributed quote appears to be "It's an old dream, a little Marxist."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Medical cannabis advocacy you…, in reply to Bill Smith,

    Hey-Joe, cool video they love their GREENS.

    Somewhere I recall someone of a botanical persuasion describing cannabis as a "camp follower", in terms of how it extends its range as a kind of opportunistic domesticate. In a curious coincidence, years later I found the same term used in describing the ancient domestication of the guinea pig.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree..., in reply to izogi,

    How does that happen?

    Trotter has a great gift for sonorous puff. A bit like the kind of potboiler stuff that Maurice Shadbolt once turned out for coffee table books, with a dash of Desiderata, so that you're tickled into feeling that you've exercised your fine mind by having read him, when you bloody well haven't. He can probably do it with his eyes closed.

    Danyl McLauchlan nailed his style nicely a few years ago.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to steven crawford,

    But the whole thing hard case if you have 4 minutes of free time.

    While the phrase "hot buttered yak wool" was used by a Time magazine movie reviewer to describe Elvis's hair in the otherwise forgettable Roustabout, it seems made for Reagan.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Medical cannabis advocacy you…, in reply to Bill Smith,

    Cannabis is an ancient food and I think that when we use the term eat your greens, it shouldn't just mean cabbages.

    "...humans, along with other higher primates, guinea pigs and fruit bats, get by with what some have called an "inborn metabolic error": an inability to produce vitamin C from glucose."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    those Aussies like to have their cake and eat it too...

    Catering by the Kelly gang.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Medical cannabis advocacy you…, in reply to Bill Smith,

    ...Vitamin C.... from a balanced diet the way nature intended...

    Considering that we're one of the tiny minority of mammal species that have lost the ability to synthesize our own vitamin C, it seems fair to wonder what nature's intention might have been in letting that happen.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4303 posts Report Reply

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